Tell us a bit about you?

Growing up in New Zealand I lived on a hobby farm. Mum cooked up hearty meals made of predominantly homegrown meat and veg and passed on to me her enthusiasm for hearty home cooking.

Later on, when I moved to Melbourne to study (a Bachelor of Biomedicine, followed by a Master of Public Health), my love of food grew – the Melbourne food scene is too good to ignore! But as I was taught about cholesterol, metabolism, and the obesity epidemic, for some reason my tastes gradually took a turn for the healthy and I got stuck into plant-based foods like tempeh tahini curry, avocado mousse and activated nut cheeze – worlds away from mum’s heirloom recipes!

Upon finishing my Masters I moved north to the Gold Coast. Here, where work in health promotion is scarce, I’ve had to ad lib: I launched a healthy snack company in 2017 so as to build my own platform from which to promote healthy eating. Realistically it was a labour of love, rather than a viable business, so it is no longer running, but I take from the experience a great understanding of food labelling and marketing, local sourcing, sustainability and most importantly people’s attitudes to food.

Why YFM?

I followed YFM on its social channels for years before actually getting involved as a Co-leader of my closest chapter, Brisbane. Better late than never, right?!

I have a lot of food system experiences and understandings to share, and YFM gives me the opportunity to impart my wisdom on other interested foodies. On the flipside, there is so much that I’m less knowledgeable about – such as agriculture and soil health, trade and taxation politics – and through the collective minds of YFM members these lessons are at my fingertips.

What is your favourite food memory?

Hands down, my 23rd birthday. For a start it was the most exquisite day with love and attention showered on me from all angles (I’ll admit, I do become a birthday diva). And to top it off, my dinner party was unforgettable. As a sweet little vegetarian, I invited all my friends to savour a suckling pig on the spit with me, naturally. Pork had always been my favourite roast meat before going vego, and that day I had some bizarre desire to utterly indulge in nostalgia (and crackling). It was my birthday, and so I did, and it was glorious.

Last Meal before the apocalypse

Just a few simple pleasures for me: ripe apricots, freshly plucked figs, raspberries eaten from the vine and feijoas by the bucket load… all my favourite fruits. Of course the apocalypse would have to be occurring in late summer – early autumn in order for all these ambrosias to be fruiting and available. Fingers crossed!